Seven people have contracted the Alaskapox virus since its discovery in 2015, including a man from Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. However, a recent case took a Fatal turn, increasing questions regarding this rare orthopoxvirus. The virus, also known as AKPV, typically causes minor symptoms.

AlaskaPox virus background

Skin lesions, enlarged lymph nodes, and joint discomfort are common symptoms as well as moderate sickness is usually caused by the virus. In patients with weakened immune systems, severe instances are more common.

 The patient’s immunocompromised state may have had a role in his demise, and it took several months to identify the fatal case in this instance. One question about the cause of the man’s infection is that he lived alone in the woods and did not travel recently.

Potential Transmission from a Cat

The patient might have gotten the virus from the cat he shared his apartment with, which scratched him and then later his symptoms appeared. Officials think that the virus may have spread from the cat’s claws even though the test results were negative.

Smallpox and Alaskapox are related due to the fact they are both members of the orthopoxvirus family. Vaccination recommendations for adults who are at risk are typical because orthopoxviruses continue to pose a threat even though smallpox has been eradicated.

Despite a decline in AKPV in affluent nations, orthopoxviruses persist in causing outbreaks, especially in areas such as Congo. For risk mitigation, experts advise routine vaccination.

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